The GIANTS have welcomed four new players to the club following a successful 2019 NAB AFL Draft over the past three days in Melbourne.
Dashing defender Lachie Ash and big-bodied midfielder Tom Green were selected on Wednesday night, while key forward Jake Riccardi and matured aged midfielder Tom Hutchesson were nabbed on Thursday evening.
“We’re delighted with the outcome, especially when – like any recruiting team across the competition – so much work goes in across a 12 to 24-month period,” GIANTS General Manager of Football Jason McCartney said.
“The ability to put a strategy in place, especially around what we wanted to do at the pointy end of the draft and move our picks up to potentially get above any pick for Green.
“To be able to put that plan in place and execute it to pick up Lachie Ash and then Tom getting through to pick 10 was exceptional for us on night one.”
McCartney said Green – who was predicted to go as high as pick three in the draft – not getting bid on until pick 10 helped the GIANTS’ draft strategy.
It gave them the ability to welcome Riccardi and Hutchesson on the second night.
“The great thing was that we had some flexibility,” McCartney said.
“Although our picks were late, with the deficit for when the bid for Tom Green came in, we were probably planning our strategy around the deficit covering off most of our points for the 2020 season as well.
“With Tom being bid on at pick 10 it actually allowed us to get into action with either our future third or the one we owned from North Melbourne.
“That was something we acted upon once it hit the 40 mark of the draft and players we liked were still there, then we started to enquire with a number of clubs.
“We kept on chipping away and Jake was still there and, in the end, we were able to facilitate a deal with Collingwood.
“We gave away the North Melbourne future third, we’d needed to get a future fourth round pick back from them, so we were able to do that and get the pick 51 to pick up Jake who had an exceptional year in the VFL for Werribee.
“Then for our next selection it was a player that our recruiting team absolutely loved in Tom Hutcehsson.”
Jake Stein, Tommy Sheridan and Zach Sproule all returned to the club through the 2019 Rookie Draft on Friday morning.
The trio all played AFL games for the GIANTS in 2019 with Stein and Sproule both making their long-awaited AFL debuts.
“We were very happy with the progression that Jake and Zach showed, but AFL rules mandate that after three years on the rookie List you’re either elevated or delisted,” McCartney said.
“We were in a situation where we didn’t have too many list changes this year compared to other years and we didn’t want to elevate and take away what we had given our handy draft position and what we had to facilitate with the Tom Green process.
“Those guys were committed to us as we were to them and then we needed a little draft flexibility, so we removed Tommy Sheridan from the primary list and we had a commitment to reselect him on either the primary or the rookie list.”
The 2019 draft crop will begin life as GIANTS on Monday when they begin pre-season training alongside the entire playing group at Tom Wills Oval.